The Okairos technology has already been tested in clinical
studies involving more than 700 subjects, including mid-stage
Phase II programmes in hepatitis C and malaria.
* Swiss-based Okairos specialises in potent T-cell vaccines
* Technology uses deactivated chimpanzee viruses as vectors
* Programmes include Phase II hepatitis C, malaria vaccines
* Privately owned Okairos spun out from Merck in 2007
LONDON, May 29 (Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline is
betting on a new vaccine technology based on chimpanzee viruses
by acquiring Swiss-based Okairos for 250 million euros ($321
million) – the latest bolt-on biotech buy by a big drugmaker.
Britain’s largest pharmaceuticals group said on Wednesday
that the privately owned company’s know-how was expected to play
an important role in GSK’s development of vaccines to both
prevent and treat diseases.
With all-oral, interferon-free HCV regimens becoming treatment of choice, Transgene lacks partner for its therapeutic vaccine; company changes focus to HBV
By Ryan McBride for Fierce Biotech
February 8, 2013 – Fierce Biotech – Transgene CEO Philippe Archinard sees no immediate partnership in store for the hep C candidate, TG4040, and is now holding out hope that the therapeutic vaccine could find work in markets such as China where the adoption of new pills for the disease might be slower than major markets in the West, he told Bloomberg. And his company, backed by the wealthy Merieux family, has shifted focus to an experimental vaccine for hepatitis B.
Transgene has developed the hep C vaccine for use with the standard injected therapy interferon, which causes flu-like symptoms that have kept many patients on the sidelines waiting for the new all-oral regimens that work quickly and could reduce adverse side effects. The field of interferon-free contenders moved quickly in a race to bring cures to the market, which is expected to explode with the expected arrival of the pills over the next several years.